Bring New Mexico’s Bisti Beast Home in Dynamic Form | New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

Bring New Mexico’s Bisti Beast Home in Dynamic Form

Perspective rendering: Dynamic Bisti Beast in New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science lobby, 2019. Courtesy NM Dept. of Cultural Affairs.

It’s a dinosaur tale that stretches from Albuquerque to Japan and back again.

The foundation for the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science (NMMNHS) is raising funds to purchase a robotic, animated Bisti Beast as a permanent, key attraction at the museum.

An early relative of Tyrannosaurus rex, the Bistahieversor (Bisti Beast) fossil was discovered in 1997, and excavated in 1998 from the Bisti/De-na-zin Wilderness in the Four Corners of New Mexico by NMMNHS paleontologist Thomas Williamson, PhD. A paper describing the amazing find caught the attention of researchers at the Fukui Prefectoral Dinosaur Museum in Fukui, Japan.

Japanese representatives asked to borrow some of New Mexico’s fossils, including the Bisti Beast, for a temporary exhibition called The Great Journey of Dinosaurs. Upon traveling to Japan for the opening, New Mexico museum officials learned why Japanese scientists were so enamored with the Bisti Beast.

“There before our eyes was a living, breathing Bisti Beast robotic dinosaur inspired by the Bistahieversor discovery. The curators in Japan worked with Kokoro Company Ltd. to create a mesmerizing, life-size reconstruction of our own dinosaur that left me speechless,” says Williamson.

“We found we could obtain the dinosaur from Japan at a fraction of the price it would cost to have it created,” said Museum Executive Director Margie Marino. “This is the only dinosaur of its kind, and the only robotic dinosaur in existence custom-created based on a New Mexico scientific discovery. And, the engineering is such that, with regular maintenance, it could last as long as 20 years, providing our visitors with a landmark, memorable experience!”

The animatronic Bisti Beast was a huge hit in Japan. During a collective 218 days on exhibit at the three Japanese venues, the Great Journey of Dinosaurs drew more than 588,000 visitors. See a video at vimeo.com/282669292.

The foundation for the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science has launched a GoFundMe page to help raise money to bring the robotic dinosaur to New Mexico: gofundme.com/bisti

Open Daily, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. $8 Adults (13–59), $7 Seniors (60+),
$5 Children (3–12). Free to NM residents with ID on the first Sunday of the month and every Wednesday to NM Resident Seniors.

Coming this summer, Capcom Go!, an immersive, historical documentary introducing a new generation to the immense challenges and achievements of the Apollo program and what it took to put the first humans on the Moon half a century ago.

New Mexico CulturePass

Your ticket to New Mexico's exceptional Museums and Historic Sites.
From Indian treasures to space exploration, world-class folk art to awesome dinosaurs—our museums and monuments celebrate the essence of New Mexico every day.
More Info »

The wallet size version of the CulturePass showing the $30 price

Cultural Atlas of New Mexico Mobile App

Where do you belong?
The Cultural Atlas of New Mexico leads you to historic and cultural places throughout the Land of Enchantment. Organized by region, proximity and interest, the Cultural Atlas will help you find where you belong.

Get it on Google Play

Featured DCA Exhibitions

A photo featuring items representing the Painted Reflections exhibition

Painted Reflections

Explore the designs painted on ancestral and contemporary Pueblo pottery by visiting Painted Reflections: Isomeric
more »

A photo featuring items representing the Setting the Standard: The Fred Harvey Company and Its Legacy exhibition

Setting the Standard: The Fred Harvey Company and Its Legacy

Setting the Standard: The Fred Harvey Company and Its Legacy, a new section that joins the New Mexico History
more »

A photo featuring items representing the Selections from the 20th Century Collection exhibition

Selections from the 20th Century Collection

After more than a century of collecting, the New Mexico Museum of Art has become home to some of the finest examples of
more »

A photo featuring items representing the Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now exhibition

Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now

Telling New Mexico: Stories from Then and Now sweeps across more than 500 years of history—from the state’s
more »